• Transform magazine
  • May 18, 2022

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Free The Birds unifies wilko with brand portfolio refresh

TT 16 November Wilko

British high-street retail chain, wilko, worked with creative agency Free The Birds to develop a new brand positioning that will unify its own lines under the same identity for the first time.

The new brings brand architecture, packaging design, typography and tone of voice to celebrate the retailer’s 90-year heritage under one brand equity.

After conducting a survey with its customers, wilko realised it needed a new brand to highlight product benefits and ease navigation on shelves, explains  Racheal Leonard, head of brand and marketing from wilko.

The new packaging design sees the brand architecture shift to a consistent and easier navigation system with wilko’s logo at the top, followed by the product name below. Other elements of the design include the introduction of clear iconography on the front-of-pack to call out the product’s USPs, and navigation bars at the bottom to aid simplicity and browsing on the physical and digital shelf.

“With a portfolio of this size, we had to create a consistent brand thread across varying labels that is delivered simply and effectively. We developed three overarching design structures ‘Core’, ‘Core Light’ and ‘Core Plus’ to help customers distinguish the different ranges,” says Nick Vaus, partner and creative director at Free The Birds.

For the Paint and Pet labels, Free The Birds developed a cohesive colour scheme and photography to offer a new level of intimacy with consumers, making the brand feel ownable. Free The Birds also developed a new label strategy to differentiate the heritage wilko products from specific ranges such as ‘pets with wilko’ and ‘care with wilko.’ Meanwhile, the classic tittle, which features in wilko’s main was replicated across all the category labels, to convey a sense of unity with wilko’s consumer set.

“Our challenge was to elevate and evolve wilko’s brand identity to reflect its values and product attributes of durability, ease of use, performance and accessibility. By creating a layered design system with a specific colour palette and messaging on pack, we ensured that the new branding works across the vast range of structures and substrates within wilko’s full portfolio, while helping customers make the right choice and simplifying the brand’s internal processes'' added Nick Vaus from Free The Birds.